ICEBERGS AND SWANS
What do they have in common? Well, they’re both white… ish and ….. most of their activity and importance goes on underneath. It’s hidden.
I’m too lazy to look up the exact proportion, but most of an iceberg is under the water and that’s what makes it stable and able to keep upright and look so impressive. It would not look so wonderful if it were capsized.
And the wonderful stately swan, sailing serenely on but paddling like billy-ho under the water, an unseen but important activity.
I think this is an aquatic version of what St Paul was saying in his first letter to the people in Corinth. He uses the example of the body. All bits of the body are important and those bits of the body which seem to be insignificant are in fact indispensable.
So this article is an attempt to pay tribute to hidden, but important, activity. The most obvious tribute, in a church but in any society, is to the back room people who are usually not named.
Bishop Jim Thompson referred to them as the “thin files”.. people who quietly get on with the job in hand with no fuss. We know some of them. We may be some of them. So to all these people…. thank you.
When we read Jesus’ words…”Blessed are the peace makers”. I think of people quietly spreading peace. It may be in a dramatic area or it may be in a quieter domestic environment … not spreading gossip or ill feeling…but wherever it is making peace is a blessed activity.
And there is also the hidden activity of prominent people. Their success may appear effortless but a whole lot of effort goes in making things appear effortless. Think of the hard work behind any meeting or gathering… apparent spontaneity needs a whole lot of organising.
It seems a bit “pi” to say that God knows about all this hidden activity but that is the truth but I think it is our role to recognise its existence and say “Thankyou”
And this is not irrelevant to our welcoming our new Rector Astrid. Those of us who have been involved in keeping the parishes going during the vacancy …. and that is many, many people, know how much hidden work there is in running a church.
One of our aims is to try and save Astrid from some of this work so that she is free to be our pastor and teacher and be a presence in the community sharing the love with God to everybody.
And of course our job is to be as welcoming as possible, and to share with her the task and the privilege of being Christ’s body in our communities. Sometimes we may be the visible part of the body or iceberg or swan. Sometimes we may be the hidden bit quietly working and praying away.
But whatever we do we are doing it inspired and in partnership with God’s Holy Spirit.
AROUND AND ABOUT
Informal Ecumenical Prayer
Please remember that the Informal Ecumenical Prayer meeting is held in the Church Room at Christ Church on the first Saturday of the month. The next meeting is on Saturday, 1st July at 9am.
Confirmed dates for the children’s Holiday Club at the Salvation Army are Tuesday 15th to Friday 18th August. The theme is ‘Waste Watchers’. If anyone is able to help with activities or hostessing, please contact Jennie Baker tel. 01275 373514. Children of primary school age can register at the Salvation Army coffee mornings in July. There will also be a special All Age Worship service on 13th August at Christ Church to which all the churches are invited to mark the beginning of Holiday Club week. So please come to show your support for the children of our village.
Benefice Bible Study
You are most welcome to join our friendly Benefice Bible Study group at 8pm on Wednesday 12th July and Wednesday 26th July at Chloe Clarke’s home at 20 Oak Grove We are studying Book 4 of the Church of England ‘Pilgrim’ series of study booklets, based on the Beatitudes. Please contact Jennie Baker on 373514 for information. You will be most welcome and we hope to see some new faces.
Calling all MEN!
Pill Churches in Covenant Invite YOU to a Men’s Breakfast on Saturday 8th July at Pill Methodist Church at 8am. The topic is ‘Sailing Pilots of the Severn Sea’ , a talk by Professor Bob Parfitt (formerly Science Chairman, University of Bath & Research Deputy VC & Emeritus Professor, the University of Western Australia, with Pill ancestors!). The substantial menu will include bacon, eggs sausages, mushrooms, beans, etc. to your choice together with toast, Fairtrade tea and coffee. There is a nominal charge of £3.00 to help offset cost of food and beverage.
Please book places by Wednesday 5th July with David Yates (372678) or Mike Burnett (217938.)
Pill Community Café
Café is open on term-time Fridays in July (i.e. up until 21st July) from 9am to 11.15am at Pill Community Centre; bacon rolls, cakes, coffee, tea and much more. Plus there’s Tiddlertown for any younger visitors to enjoy. All money raised goes towards supporting our local young people.
No Pill Baptist Café Church, BBQ Time instead!
There is no Café Church in July, instead there is a barbecue at Portishead Lake Grounds on Sunday 2nd July starting at 2pm. www.facebook.com/pillbaptistchurch.
Christian Aid News
A huge thank you from the Christian Aid committee who represent Pill, Easton in Gordano and Portbury. We managed to raise £2644 during this year’s Christian Aid week. This was thanks to a very successful plant sale – so thank you to everyone who worked hard to support us with that.
Also a significant amount was raised at this year’s Christian Aid church service which was held at Christ Church, and was very well supported.
As we have no door-to-door collection this year, we really hope to raise more money at the community choir concert at Christ Church on 1st July, and also at a fashion show at St George’s Church Hall on Saturday 30th September. More details to follow. LB
Thought for the Day
In reality he’s an acting Pope!
Pope Francis can now add ‘actor’ to his CV. He has a cameo and plays himself in a new religious-themed feature film called Beyond The Sun. It’s about four young children from different cultures trying to follow the teachings of Christ. The project was launched at the Cannes Film Festival on 17th May. The producers said this is the first time in the history of the Roman Catholic Church that a Pope has agreed to play a cameo role in a film.
They also said Francis is inspired by the move. He reportedly asked producers to make a movie with the purpose of communicating the message of the Gospels to youth. The company which made the film told The Telegraph: “Our excitement and gratitude toward His Holiness, Pope Francis, participating in this film is beyond words.
This is not just a movie for us, it’s a message, and who better to have on your side to deliver an important societal and spiritual message than the Pope. We are honoured and inspired by the level of collaboration from the Vatican.” Profits from the film will be donated to two charities in Argentina that help disadvantaged children.
DIOCESAN NEWS AND VIEWS
A short reflection from Bishop Peter in the light of the Manchester attack. Not just in Britain or Europe but around the world vigils have been held to remember all those whose lives have been touched by the tragic event in Manchester on that Monday night in May.
People have gathered in public places, in homes and at work, in churches and cathedrals to remember all those whose lives have been turned upside down by violence.
People of all nationalities, ages and creeds have come together in a shared longing for peace and justice in our world.
But underneath the shock and anger and grief there has been a determination by the people of Manchester to stand together, to support those most affected and to unite across their diversity. They have resolved to rebuild and repair the damage to their city and to face down the fear that terrorists seek to instil in our lives.
Incidents like this raise many questions, including the question: ‘where is God in the midst of all this?’ At moments like this I am reminded of something I read many years ago and which has remained with me: ‘In Jesus, God did not come to explain suffering, or to remove it, but to fill it with his presence.’ In this life we may not get all the answers we seek to the pain and problem of suffering. We live in a world which continues to be torn apart by suffering in many ways. But I believe we live in a world which is held and shaped by the love and light of God. Jesus came to fill the world with his presence.
Let us make that the focus of our prayers.
Rt Revd Peter Hancock, Bishop of Bath and Wells
An ancient prayer for peace
O God, the author of peace and lover of concord,
to know you is eternal life and to serve you is perfect freedom:
Defend us, your humble servants, in all assaults of our enemies;
that we, surely trusting in your defence, may not fear the power of any adversaries;
through the might of Jesus Christ our Lord.
Letter from the Right Reverend Ruth Worsley, Bishop of Taunton
This month I shall make my first visit to Zambia. Mostly we take holidays in Scotland so this sounds somewhat exotic and probably warmer! However it is not intended to be a tourist visit but rather an opportunity to grow the friendship between our diocese and our sisters and brothers in our partnership link with Zambia.
Next year we celebrate 40 years of that friendship and you will be hearing much more of how we hope to mark that milestone and develop and strengthen the partnership. We hope that there will be visits to and fro so that we can learn from one another about how we live and tell our stories of faith and how to share the grace of God in our lives.
In recent months we have seen something of a growing fear and anxiety creeping in to some of the ways in which we as a society respond to people who have a different culture, ethnicity or religious faith than ourselves. Such fear can prevent us from the joy of discovering alternative views or perspectives or engaging in novel experiences. Reticence in taking risks can mean we miss the delight of making new friends.
Trust is something which grows as we step outside of the boundaries of our known world into the unfamiliar territory of another. The call of Christ to follow him is one that takes us beyond ourselves into places of discovery and the expanding of horizons. I’m looking forward to meeting my Zambian brothers and sisters in the shared journey we have committed to walk together.
I hope that each of us will make the most of the opportunities we have both here and abroad to open ourselves to the voice of God as we experience new people, new places and new discoveries this summer.
The Right Reverend Ruth Worsley Bishop of Taunton
Christ Church Pill
Verger: - Maggie Robbins Tel 374534
Christ Church – the future?
The original Christ Church Pill was built in 1861, and was destroyed by an incendiary bomb in 1941. With funds raised by local people the new Christ Church was built in in the footprints of the old church and consecrated in 1958.
Like all Anglican churches, it is financed and maintained by those worshipping in it. Our church can seat up to 200 people, enough to accommodate large funerals and weddings, but a large space to heat and maintain.
We also have a Church Room for smaller gatherings in the rear of the church. Our regular congregation is around 30 people who come to church once a month or more, and it is their donations through regular giving that keeps the church financially viable, despite many of these being pensioners.
Although our original church was destroyed by enemy action it is our hope that apathy will not close the doors of our present church.
A recent inspection, required by our insurers, has needed us to spend over £1,000 which include replacement fire extinguishers, inspecting and remedying electrical issues and lightning conductors. £500 – £600 is also needed for repairs to our organ.
Financially we broke even last year, thanks to several very generous donations, but unless we can increase our income, the long term future of Christ Church must be uncertain. Our church provides a brilliant venue for large gatherings in our village.
Many of you attend our ‘Blessing of the Crib’ service, benefit concerts and special services where we join with the other churches in Pill. How can we secure its future?
If you care about YOUR church, the PCC and congregation would love to see you and would welcome your ideas to keep this facility for our village.
Christ Church Coffee Morning and Summer Gift Day
The Summer Gift Day for 2017 took place on Tuesday 13th June to coincide with the coffee morning in the Church Room from 10am until noon. More details will follow in the magazine for August. No coffee mornings will be held in July and August.
Soup and Chat at Christ Church
The Soup and Chat lunches will not be taking place during July and August but will recommence in September. For further details telephone :
Maggie Robbins on 01275 374534.
St Mary the Virgin Portbury
Vergers - Dick Talbot & Valerie Marshall
2nd July Mrs Marshall
9th July Vacant
16th July Mrs Chilcott
23rd July Mrs Wilmott
30th July Vacant (Joint HC at E-in-G at 10am, see centre pages.)
Mrs Marshall & Miss Sackett
The last meeting of this programme is an outing to the Donkey Sanctuary and Sidmouth on Tuesday 11th July. The coach cost is £17.50 and we have a few seats available if you would like to join us. Please phone Valerie Marshall (374201). Our next meeting is on Tuesday 12th September.
Community Café followed by the “Wormfest’’
On Saturday 1st July Community Café is in St Mary’s Church at 10am with the usual breakfasts, cakes, jams & pickles. Following at noon is a competition involving collecting worms from a measured-out metre square. The process will be explained on the day!
At 2 pm the Morris Dancers will give a performance and have offered to teach some of the steps to children and adults. This will all take place on the north side of the churchyard. Hope to see you there; all welcome.
Wall pointing in Portbury
Come and have fun as we are holding a wall pointing course at church over the weekend of 15th and 16th July (short days). All materials and equipment provided and the course is free to anybody interested. Only proviso is please spend a similar amount of time helping to point our church boundary walls. Contact Ann Longstaff 07552 629928 to secure your place (limited spaces are filling up).
St Mary’s School Art Show
St Mary’s School Art Show is in the church on Wednesday 12th July.
You are invited to join the Portbury WI on Tuesday 18th July at 7.30pm in
the Portbury Village Hall for an illustrated talk and paintings on the Life of Birds by Ruth Pizzichemi. If you would like more information please contact Daphne Vise 01275 372644.
St George’s Easton in Gordano
Verger:- Ian Crichton Tel 372698
2nd July Mrs Kelly & Mrs Willcox
9th July Mrs Petty
16th July Mrs Ramsay
23rd July Mrs Beswick
30th July Mrs Betts
The team for this July is Mrs Whiting & Mrs Billington
We would like to thank everyone who made the thanksgiving service for Kay such a lovely, uplifting occasion. We wanted this to be celebration of a life well lived and we feel that is exactly the atmosphere throughout. In particular we would like to thank Margaret Samuel for her sensitive lead in the service; for the choir and its lead in the uplifting hymns of praise; for Ian and his attention to detail and for the bell ringers who added such a quintessentially village feel to the start of the service with their lovely ringing.
It was very good to have the opportunity to speak to as many as we could after the service, but we know that there were some who could not stay or were unable to come so, thank you to all of you too for being Kay’s friend. She will be much missed, especially by her family.
Thank you. Jenny and Malcolm and all of Kay’s family
The collection at the service of £108 has been donated to St Peter’s Hospice as requested by Kay.
Easton in Gordano WI
On Wednesday 5th July we shall have a talk entitled “Vagabond Shoes”: World’s Oldest Backpacker by Jean Burnett. We would welcome any visitors and friends to this meeting at St George’s Church Hall at 7.30pm.
Calendar (Page 5)
WHAT’S ON DIARY FOR JULY
1st July Ecumenical Prayer Meeting (see page 2)
1st July Portbury Community Café (see page 11)
2nd July Pill Baptist Barbecue (see page 3)
5th July Easton-in-Gordano WI (see page 12)
7th July Pill Community Café open (see page 3)
8th July Men’s Breakfast (see page 3)
11th July Portbury Wives Group (see page 11)
12th July St Mary’s School Art Show (see page 11)
12th July Ecumenical Bible Study (see page 2)
14th July Pill Community Café open (see page 3)
15-16th July Wall Pointing Course at Portbury (see page 11)
18th July Portbury WI (see page 11)
21st July Pill Community Café open (see page 3)
26th July Ecumenical Bible Study (see page 2)
15-18th August Holiday Club (see page 2)